Dear forever curious about love,
This is certainly a loaded question and there can be many contributing factors when it comes to an ending. With that being said, if I were to choose one nugget, it would be a lack of self- love and self understanding. Understanding and loving ourselves helps us teach others to love us, therefore it is foundational to keeping a relationship alive
When we love the shit out of ourselves, we know our triggers, our reactions and the stories these triggers tell us. We consistently tweak and correct our stories and always aim for the right road. We know our attachment style, our core fracture wound, our love language and maybe even our love type. We know how to be neutral, and we know how to forgive and see through a compassionate lens. We know to stay out of others’ heads, and we know how to be brave and vulnerable. We see learnings from when we fall, and we know how to circle back. We are self-compassionate and our own biggest fan, even when we are in the middle of a “fuck up”. We know when we witness a reaction, or hear words that don’t align with our truth, that it is not about us. We hold the belief that everyone is doing their best.
So, it’s safe to say that when we love ourselves in this way, we know our own truth. This means that the words directed at us, reflecting our partners inner self-talk will not hurt us. They may poke at us, but they do not hurt our hearts because we know our own truth. We know that when our partner reacts, it comes from their own unique history and is not about us. Knowing this allows us to remove the framework from which resentment is built. Knowing this allows us to be neutral so we can give our partner the floor and hear them. There’s a format that helps with this process, but generally speaking, if we focus on one person’s topic at a time, we can make some headway. This leaves our partner feeling heard, seen and loved… even in the muck.
I would be remiss if I did not speak to love language, which I believe to be the foundation of successful relationships. If we feel loved in shitty moments, those moments are more manageable. If we feel loved, we can quiet the old brain triggers. In order to feel loved, we need to receive love in the way that speaks to our heart. We need to learn how to love our partner in the way in which they feel love. Love is like an engine… it needs regular oil changes in order to run. If you let the engine run dry, it will eventually seize. Done. It will no longer be able to perform as it once did, therefore, showing up for your partner via their love language is akin to putting oil in the engine; if you want it to keep humming along, you need to maintain it.
I am a romantic at heart. I believe that love is our greatest teacher. The role of relationships and dating is to provide opportunities to both see and heal the past. If you think about it, it kind of makes sense… the past is where our beliefs, reactions, stories and triggers come from. If we can heal some of these, it makes sense that love can start to feel better than it has previously. If we can accept the prickly moments as learning opportunities rather than devastating heartbreaks, we can grow and be better the next time around, or even before it breaks.